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Old 10-15-2014, 08:05 AM   #21
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I can argue both sides - there are great people who have achieved FI who are legitimately better off working. But I always wonder what value it provides to ask this self selected niche audience what they think of ER vs work. Sort of like going to a Chevy forum and asking members what they think of an article on the merits of Toyotas, self-fulfilling.

There are definitely people who would agree wholeheartedly with the linked article, but they're few and far between at

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Old 10-15-2014, 08:12 AM   #22
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There are countless stories of people who have retired early only to return to work within a year or even within 30 days. It is not necessarily because retirement was so bad. It was that they ran out of meaningful things to do.
You may not run out of things to do. Errands and other mundane activities have a way of filling the void. However, research suggests that in two years, most people begin to run out of activities that give them meaning, a sense of purpose, continuous engagement and support their overall well-being.
I found these statements rather sad that most cannot find something meaningful to do. Are self directed people that small a percentage of the population? I'm only 6 months into fire but have been busier than ever and cannot imagine running out of meaningful stuff to do. But perhaps I'm being naive and my tune will change in another few years.

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Old 10-15-2014, 08:21 AM   #23
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My responses to a few brief quotes from the article:
research suggests that in two years, most people begin to run out of activities that give them meaning, a sense of purpose, continuous engagement and support their overall well-being.
Purpose to whom? I don't WANT to feel like I am being used by a corporation for a purpose that is only of value to that organization. I want to have the freedom to govern how I use my time, instead of having that dictated to me, minute by minute.

If someone needs to be ordered to complete (often) fairly meaningless tasks all day long every day in order to experience a sense of well-being, then I would suggest that they need to do some introspection especially concerning why they have such a need to behave in such a submissive way.
Studies indicate wives are more likely to initiate divorce because the guy who now occupies the couch "is boring."
Oh pul-eeze. The author makes the broad, unsubstantiated assumption that someone who is retired is more boring to his spouse than someone who works. That is SO untrue. F is a lot more interesting, IMO, since he retired. He is writing his third book, pursuing his interests in astronomy and ham radio, sending me links to fascinating podcasts and youtube videos, and generally he is so happy and vibrant. Yet I should believe that he is more boring now than when he was working so many hours of overtime and was exhausted from it? I don't think so.
Marriage aside, the Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index suggests that those who work in latter years report higher states of well-being, that is better emotional and physical health as well as overall healthy behaviors and life satisfaction.
Apparently this author never heard that "correlation is not causation". If someone is in poor physical or emotional health, he might HAVE to retire.

Also I doubt that retired cubicle workers do not engage in overall healthier behaviors in retirement, than they did when spending most of their time at work in the cube. Seems to me that the vast majority of those at my gym who are in their 50's or 60's are retired. In retirement, they have the time to be at the gym.
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Old 10-15-2014, 08:30 AM   #24
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I'm convinced. I'm gonna see if I can get back my windowless basement cube.
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
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Old 10-15-2014, 08:49 AM   #25
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My husband has never been without a purpose since he retired. If he isn't out and about with one of his many clubs, he knows there is a never ending honey-do list waiting for him at home.
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Old 10-15-2014, 09:40 AM   #26
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I knew I was preaching to the choir here. Still this is a place where there are a lot of people who have retired early. I doubt I would want to RE if I loved what I do and enjoyed coming to work every day...but I don't. I've been told by a number of people that I'd be bored but I think that's partially jealousy because I can talk about and they can't

Still work does fill up a lot of the days and while the concerns about what to do are few compared to the health and financial ones, it is still something to consider in timing things

DLDS...I'm pretty sure my wife will have a similar I am planning lots of LONG bike rides after which I will be exhausted
If money is the root of all evil I want to be a bad man
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Old 10-15-2014, 10:25 AM   #27
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I still have a few years to go before FIRE, but have started thinking about it seriously. And I'll admit, I wasn't sure what retirement would mean to me, other than not working. I read a quote somewhere to the effect that "You can't just retire FROM something, you have to retire TO something."

Reinforcing that concern are two people whose opinions I respect greatly, both of whom have retired in the last 10 years. My dad (used to being the president of his company) is still unsettled himself and wants to keep running stuff. So he can't imagine why I would want to retire. This weekend I was visiting and he is now recommending that I go back to law school when I retire, so that I can start practicing law at age 60 (his long-time dream for me, not mine). From another perspective, my long-time mentor is thrilled in retirement, but spends almost 100% of his time doing things with and for his kids and grandkids. So he doesn't understand how I will spend my time, since I'm single and childless.

A few months ago, I started a notebook and on each page, wrote one thing that I enjoy doing. Then underneath each item, started listing ideas of how that could manifest in retirement. The notebook has lots of good ideas now, and I'm sure will just expand over the next little while. I'm pretty confident that I'll be just fine
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Old 10-15-2014, 10:33 AM   #28
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The first thing I did was drop my WSJ subscription, saved $ and time... recommended for anyone
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Old 10-21-2014, 08:16 PM   #29
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It's interesting that someone who has not retired, much less FIREd, feels qualified to tell others not to retire early.

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So for those that did RE...
Old 10-21-2014, 10:24 PM   #30
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So for those that did RE...

Originally Posted by seraphim View Post
It's interesting that someone who has not retired, much less FIREd, feels qualified to tell others not to retire early.

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Here's another "expert" expounding on something he has never done-

“If you made a survey of all these guys who are retired, you would find that probably 75 percent would say to you , ‘I retired too soon,’ ” Levinson says.
If you checked any actual surveys regarding this guy's statement you would probably find he 100% pulled that statistic out of his rear end...

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Old 10-22-2014, 01:55 AM   #31
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My health since Early retirement has never been better. Stress eliminated lost weight.

I view it in terms of how many active years we have left. We are just finishing 7 weeks of independent travel and have another 10-12 weeks starting Dec. 31. Could not fit that in if I was still at megacorp!

It is difficult to look backwards because my work environment was always changing. We prefer to keep looking, and going forward.
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Old 10-22-2014, 04:58 AM   #32
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"For many, retiring between ages 55 and 60 will mean that you will have as many decades of life ahead of you, as adult years behind you. "
If you are 58 you have 40 "adult years" behind you. Speaking for myself I suspect that the odds do not favor 40 more years of vigorous adulthood. I've been " working for the weekend", and the weekend is here.
"The future's uncertain, and the end is always near. Let it roll, baby, roll." - The Doors
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Old 10-22-2014, 07:19 AM   #33
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I think a lot of it just depends on your personality. My maternal Granddad retired at the age of 55, in 1971, to care for an ailing relative that they had moved into their house. She died within a year, but Granddad never went back to work and never regretted it. Now, he did plenty of other things to occupy his time. He and his brother in law did sort of a shadetree mechanic business out of Granddad's least until emissions controls and computer equipment got too complex. Granddad also raised a pretty big vegetable garden, and they did a lot of canning and such. Granddad also did most of the housework, cooking, etc, as Grandmom was still working. And, they also had a rental property that required work on a regular basis.

Now, when Grandmom retired, it was a different story. She went out in 1980, at the age of 56, but she was sort of forced out, as the hospital she worked at closed down. She was the workaholic type, and wasn't ready to give it up, so she went back to work. First, out of the home, doing transcription work and other paperwork for some doctors and nurses she knew. Then she went back to work part time/on call at another hospital, and they'd give her as many or as few hours as she wanted. She finally gave that up at age 70, in 1994. And then, with nothing to do, promptly went into depression, thought she was running out of money, etc, and had to get committed!

Grandmom has a cousin who also retired around 1980-81, and around the age of 56-57. She never went back to work, but always found things to do...throwing pool parties during the summer, other parties at other times of the year, going to various social/senior citizens groups, running a little junk/curio shop, etc. That kind of stuff kept her young, I think. She just had her 90th birthday earlier this month, and is still active and spry, still drives (and not in a scary fashion) etc.

My Mom and stepdad both retired in 2011. Mom was 62, and my stepdad was 58. They both carry on about hating it, and second guess themselves regularly, saying they should have kept working. Nevermind the fact that, at the time, both of them were hating their jobs with a passion and chomping at the bit to get out. I can remember how miserable they were, so I think they're just looking at the past with the proverbial rose-tinted glasses.
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Old 10-26-2014, 08:51 PM   #34
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I left megacorp with no real plans for what I would do. I just wanted to get away from the endless hours. I have found almost unlimited things to do. Perhaps the best thing is that I get to take advantage of "unique" opportunities that come up. While working, one could (almost) never get time off with short notice. Now, I generally just go! We have found that we are so busy that we must maintain an accurate social calendar.

With that said, I can say that I truly missed the technical challenges from work. I have taken several short term (one month or less) contract jobs over the past two and half years and absolutely enjoyed them. After being a contractor, I could never go back to being an employee. As time goes on, my need for the technical challenges from the "corporate or government" world is diminishing and I can easily stopping the limited amount of work I am doing.

I would say initially I felt I lost my relevance in the world when I left and felt that way for quite some time. Again as time has passed, so too has this feeling. I have helped neighbors and friends with house or car or boat projects. I have done some volunteer work. All of these things have been quite enjoyable and satisfying. People thank you for your effort and actually mean it.

One of the most positive things about leaving the working world was the almost immediate reduction of my stress level. Before leaving megacorp, I was at 95% of max stress at all times, and within days of leaving I was already feeling much, much less stressed. It was quite evident at that point, how negatively stress affects ones life. One can now exercise regularly and eat better. I am fortunate to say that my big stressor now is obtaining fresh fish bait.

The other thing I found after leaving megacorp was how much of my personal life I gave up during all those long hours. I now get to enjoy far more time with friends and family. That is far more satisfying than the majority of my work.

The article is off base for most people. For the few people have jobs that they truly love and/or they have hours that allow them a healthy work/life balance, then yes, they should probably continue working. For the other 98% of us, retirement can be much more fulfilling with only a modest amount of effort.

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